Oil prices up as storm disrupts supply

 

Oil rose for a second day as crude production remained shut in the Gulf of Mexico because of Tropical Storm Debby and a report signalled that China, the world's second-biggest crude user, may stimulate its economy.

Futures gained as much as 1.2 per cent after rising 2 per cent on June 22.

Companies including ConocoPhillips and BP Plc shut about 23 per cent of output in the Gulf as Debby approached, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

The storm shifted away from offshore energy installations yesterday, a National Hurricane Center advisory showed.

China's central bank may take measures to boost liquidity and lending, China Securities Journal reported today.

"We have a more positive outlook on sentiment," said Jonathan Barratt, chief executive officer of Barratt's Bulletin, a commodity-markets newsletter in Sydney, who forecasts that New York crude will trade between $77.50 and $80.50.

"The important thing is that it's bounced off recent lows. If we close back above about $80.50, after going below that psychological level, you've got to be more bullish."

Oil for August delivery rose as much as 92 cents and was up 39 cents at $80.16 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:29 p.m. Singapore time.

The contract increased $1.56 to $79.76 on June 22. Prices are 19 per cent lower this year and have fallen 22 per cent this quarter, the biggest decline since the final three months of 2008.

Brent oil for August settlement gained 38 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $91.36 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Bloomberg